Chapter 2 : Barriers
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Disclaimer: I own nothing, not Harry or his friends. Not Dumbledore or any other teachers. JK Rowling is not my best friend and won't listen to good advice.
Author's Note: Now that first year is over, time for second. Please review if you're reading.
Chapter 2 Barriers
The summer was just beginning for Harry. Usually it would mean two months of degradation, but this time Harry wasn't going to give the Dursleys the satisfaction. He went through the barrier, idly wondering why the sun wasn't bothering him. When he saw the Dursleys waiting for him he went over to them, sighing.
“Come on, boy, we don't have all day,” Vernon Dursley said, not seeming to notice that his nephew had grown over the school year.
Harry got in the car after stowing his trunk. The Dursleys climbed in and Petunia said, “The roof is leaking and we're expecting a storm tonight. It's your job to fix it.” Harry sighed in response. “Well, boy. Are you going to say something?” Petunia sneered.
“Yes, I'll fix the roof, Aunt Petunia,” Harry said dully. The sun kept beating down on his face. It stung a little, but not much.
When they got home, Harry saw the roof, or what was left of the roof. He knew it would be an all-night job because more than half the roof was gone. “What happened to the roof? Did you let Dudley up there?” Harry asked incredulously. After saying that he instinctively ducked, just in time to see Vernon's meaty fist swipe the air above his head. Wisely, harry kept his mouth shut after that.
Four hours later, Harry was still working on the roof. He found it easy to scramble along the trusses, almost catlike. The sky started getting darker, but Harry's vision was not being impaired. “Potter, you might as well come in before the storm starts. We don't want you breaking anything because you can't see,” Vernon called up to him.
“I'm fine, Uncle Vernon,” Harry called back. “I can see just fine.” And with that, he continued working. The Dursleys had already strung a tarp below the trusses. Rain drops started pattering down, lightly at first, but soon it was pouring. Harry was still working in the rapidly fading light. Lightning started flashing, illuminating the sidewalk. Suddenly, Harry saw something on the sidewalk. It was two cloaked figures, and they looked like they were having a meeting.
Harry wasn't worried about being seen. He slipped his ring off and leaped lightly to the other side of the roof. He looked down, making sure there were no windows, and jumped. He landed with nary a sound. Harry went around the house, keeping to the shadows, and suddenly appeared in a shadow across the street. Now he was close enough to overhear part of the men’s conversation.
“... man says the boy lives in this area,” one man muttered.
The other man replied, “The Dark Lord needs him to return. He will not thank us to kill the boy now.”
Neither man knew Harry was listening to their conversation. Harry, however, had gotten a good look at the two men, even though they had kept their hoods up in the torrential downpour. With one positive ID, and a shrewd guess as to the other man's identity, Harry went back to work. Upon finishing, he put his ring back on and went in the house. “Now mop up the water the tarp didn't stop, boy,” Petunia ordered. Harry went to this new task without complaint. The work would give him a chance to think about what he'd heard outside.
Two months later, Harry was with the Weasleys at the train station. They were getting ready to board the Hogwarts Express for their next year. Percy had already gone through the barrier, eager for his sixth year. The twins, Fred and George, had gone through for their fourth year of pranks. Ginny had been taken through by both her parents for her first year. That left Ron with Harry. Ron was running for the barrier when Harry sensed something. It was a lack of magic; the barrier had closed early. Before he could warn Ron, the older boy had slammed into the solid brick wall and bounced off. “I was trying to tell you the barrier was closed,” Harry remarked with a laugh. At that moment the clock struck eleven and the train pulled out of the station, unseen by so many people.
Meanwhile, Hermione noticed that neither of her friends were on the train. Luckily, she saw a teacher patrolling. “Professor Snape, Harry and Ron didn't come through the barrier. I think they might have been left behind,” she told the greasy professor. He grumbled and sent a patronus ahead to alert Dumbledore that his precious savior couldn't tell time.
When Dumbledore received the patronus his blood ran cold. The thought of a vicious vampire loose in a crowded train station in the middle of London gave him goose bumps. He Flooed to the Leaky Cauldron immediately and from there Apparated to Kings Cross. What he saw there filled him with such relief he felt lightheaded, for there was Harry arguing with Ron.
“... take Dad's car, he won't miss it,” Ron was saying.
“I said no, Ron. Hermione probably missed us and told someone. I'm sure if we wait right here someone will come,” Harry argued back. “Headmaster, you don't have to hide. I don't bite,” Harry said then, without turning around. The young vampire had sensed Dumbledore's approach.
“Come along, boys. I'll take you to the castle,” Dumbledore said. “Once we arrive, you can tell me why you didn't take the train like everyone else.”
Ron and Harry went with Dumbledore to the Leaky Cauldron, where they all Flooed to Hogwarts. Ron was thinking about what happened. About how Dumbledore came so quickly and the relief he saw on the aged wizard's face when he saw Harry. The conclusion he came to, of course, was that Dumbledore worships the ground Harry walks on and doesn't want him lost. Ron Weasley was seething with jealousy, and formulating a plan to take Harry down a peg or two. Because he was wrapped in his own thoughts, he didn't hear how Harry had received a visit from a House Elf earlier in the summer, or how he had been warned not to return to Hogwarts on pain of an almost certain death. Later, Dumbledore let them go down to the feast with the other students. That's where Ron decided to start putting his plan into action.
During the feast, Hermione only had eyes for Ron. He had been telling her some tall tales about how they would have been kidnapped if it wasn't for him, and how it was his idea to wait at the station on the hunch that someone would come. He also told Hermione that Harry was trying to insist they steal a flying car to get to school. Hermione thought Ron was so brave, and got over her schoolgirl crush on Harry. She thought he could never love her back because he was dead.
Meanwhile, Harry was staring at Snape. He had never trusted the man, even before that fateful night last May. It seemed that Harry's mistrust only grew after his unfortunate death. “Hermione, how evil would you say Snape is?” Harry asked, calmly.
“Harry, don't talk with your mouth full, and I don't think he's evil. He's a teacher, and Dumbledore wouldn't have hired him if he was evil.” Hermione replied absentmindedly.
“He hired Voldemort last year. Would you say Voldemort isn't evil?” Harry shot back, but she ignored him. Harry knew then that there was a barrier between him and Hermione. He trusted that she wouldn't reveal his secret, and he guessed that the depth of their friendship had lessened.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I know that vampires can’t eat normal food. That ring Harry was given makes food disappear immediately upon entering his mouth. As for Harry “speaking with his mouth full”, Hermione had all her attention focused on Ron and had simply forgotten that Harry’s mouth couldn’t be full.
And that’s enough from me. Please review! Thanks!
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